A diatom-based Holocene palaeoenvironmental record from a mid-arctic lake on Boothia Peninsula, Nunavut, Canada

  • LeBlanc M
  • Gajewski K
  • Hamilton P
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Abstract

A 485cm sediment core from a lake uno cially called JR01, Boothia Peninsula, Nunavut, Canada, yielded a high-resolution diatom record documenting environmental change in the mid-arctic. Five radiocarbon dates provided the chronology. Changes in diatom composition and sediment character- istics indicated distinct shifts in the Holocene climate. A more diverse and productive diatom  ora implies warmer temperatures in the middle Holocene. A subsequent complete shift in diatom composition to a predominantly Fragilaria sensu lato  ora and a reduction in diversity and production suggests cooler cli- mates in this region after 4600cal. BP. Smaller-scale climatic  uctuations, such as the ‘Little Ice Age’ (LIA, 600–150cal. BP) and the ‘MediaevalWarm Period’ (MWP, 1150–600cal. BP), caused shifts in the diatom  ora and production. Subtle shifts in  oristic diversity within the LIA may re ect climatic variability at a century scale. A gradual shift to a more diverse and productive  ora in the last 150 years suggests a response to the recent warming trend.

Author-supplied keywords

  • 'Little Ice Age'
  • Arctic
  • Canada
  • Climate change
  • Diatom
  • Holocene
  • Lake sediments

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